The Strait City Trading Company was founded in the city on the straits, Detroit, Michigan, in 2004. It is owned and operated by Mark Copper.
This is a family business. We constructed this site (with many thanks to the open source software community). Family members go personally to the factories where our merchandise is manufactured, and family members pack and ship your order. The customer benefits from this arrangement because every link of the chain between factory and final delivery is overseen by someone with a long-term interest in the company, someone with a vested interest in customer satisfaction.
The Financial Times has reported (April 27, 2005) that not all factories in China are complying with China's own worker protection laws. They do this by keeping false records or by co-opting auditors. I, Mark Copper, hope that our own sources are in compliance with the law and with human decency. I am a member of Amnesty International, and I support their principles enunciated here.
The Financial Times and Goldman Sachs have selected Thomas Friedman's book The World Is Flat for the business book of the year award, and today, November 29, 2005, the FT has followed up with an interview. Mr. Friedman says
The rapid evolution over the past year of what is known as "Web 2.0" -- a flowering of internet companies and strategies, based on the growing availability of cheap or free software online -- has made it possible for budding entrepreneurs and big companies to experiment with new strategies without having to bet the firm. This platform has on it so much free software that I can start things much more cheaply. That's what's so cool about it: you don't need this huge amount of capital any more,Strait City Trading is part of that. straitcity.com is hosted by a computer running Linux, Apache, mod_perl, MySQL, OpenSSL, and Mason, all free software. It's amazing, really, how all these systems work together, and the result is amazing, too: a single low-cost operation taking product from manufacturer to consumer.